This session was a blast! A bit of everything- battles, inter party conflict, tense situation with the armies, and a short mass combat. Quite a bit more roleplay on this one, but we like it that way.

We also had quite an extensive use of the mythic powers in this adventure. So I'll have some thoughts on that as well...

Session 10, part 1- Reclaiming the Temple of Welcomed Night

That's the name I gave to the lost chapel. An old temple that was dedicated to Desna before it was defiled. I've been using this location to give some hints about the "chance Encounter" campaign trait, as well Arulashee herself. It was also meant to give Andera' player a few more chances for roleplay, though it ended up with other players doing so.

But first things first- out with the Harry, in with the new Mad Dog!
Last we left, Harry fell of the spiral to the chapel, but was able to drink a potion of CLW. Since his player changed character, well... the gargoyles remains fell on Harry, splattening him bright red across the rock, and accidentally damaging all magical items he might have carried for good. Not exactly finesse, but gets the point across.

Spoiler: The new Mad Dog!
Harry's player now plays Mad dog, instead of the old player that quit (If you haven't read the previous posts). I gave him mostly free reign to change things. He is now a full barbarian instead of ranger, and he changed some gear to upgrade his AC by about 3-4 points. (We all noticed the hammering Mad dog have taken each battle). He also shifted some skills into perception, but on the whole that's it. He continues with the same campaign trait and complications thereof.

Hearing another scream from the temple, the party rushed off. They will give their farewells to Harry later.

Entrance and ghouls
At the ruined courtyard they again notice the remains of gargoyles, with crystaline arrows (Arulashee's arrows) in them. Andera retrieves one arrow, and again notice it is not of Mendev make, but of exceptional quality. He keeps it, but thinks no more of it.

Sena, anxious to get to the halfing who was cut open, rushes to the chapel room. But the ghouls have heard the cries of gargoyles, and moved to block the entrances. Mad dog and Andera open other doors, and notice two ghouls in robes in the back. One advances, while the other start casting some spell... Sena rolls a good spellcraft- summon monster 5?!? (The module says they try summon a Babau) They hear the name of Kabriri, demon undead lord of ghouls spoken a few times, and notice the desecrated altar of Desna, and Kabriri's sign above it.

But Julian moves and casts hydraulic rush on the caster, which manages to disrupt the spell (And get him very wet). The battle is quick and decisive from there- one Channel energy kills of the lesser ghouls, and the combined force of the rest manages to kill of the rest. Mad dog manages to do massive damage with a cirt, and basically disintegrates the ghouls with his strike. ("Mad dog can "channel energy" too!")

A matter of ethics?
Again, Sena doesn't spend time waiting and searching the prayer room, but rushes ahead. He finds the halfling, but not the winged demon (Nuklieth). As they get to him they see his stomach has been cut open expertly, and his internal organs removed, but he is somehow kept alive nonetheless. He is awake, suffering, but obviously on limited time, and beyond hope of any healing other thrn maybe a heal spell. The halfling looks at them pleadingly "Help me! End me!"

Julian moves to do a mercy kill, but Sena tries to interrupt, he wishes to question him, but Mad dog and Andera stop Sena. Sena asks me to use his channel energy to at least lessen the pain of the halfling, I allow it, but Julian then quickly kills the halfling. "He was under my command, my responsibility, my decision."

Sena does not accept this. "We could have helped him. I just wanted to ask him where his butcher was, and what danger he posed! We have to stop it, I think he may be using the organs of the kidnapped to somehow magically disguise demons to infiltrate our army! (What an excellent campiang idea! ) You act to rashly!". Julain snapped "And you think to much, he asked us to end him!". Sena objected "he asked to help him!"

At this point they both looked at me, and I said he asked both. Miscommunication. Sena's player decided to play the mistake nonetheless. "I think to much? You kill to easily, and not think enough!" Julian retorted "It wasn't simple!" And Sena retorted back "Looked simple from where I'm standing! Simply because he was YOURS".

As the others backed up Julian that the halfling asked to be killed, Sena relented. The player laughed "Don't confuse me with the facts!"

Spoiler: Provoking Julian
I talked with the player in the weeks before the session, about the previous session, and the reduced level of roleplay. We mainly worried about Julian's player, who usually contributes a lot to the game, and add great moments. But even the player said he couldn't quite find his voice with Julian. So Sena's player decided to try and push her, provoke her, challenge her, and let the player find more instinctual responses, which will start giving a more thorough base to the character.

He has done it throughout the session, you'll notice a few more "clashes". He's not trying to be a jackass, but to give Julian's player something quick and ready to play against, with little "plot" re precautions.

The cooler and battle with Nuklieth
The next room was a room cooled by magic, a sort of a grisly pantry. There were huge meat hooks, and from them hung 5 corpses. 3 were stripped on nearly all meat, but two were of Sena's mognrelfolk, and they were cut in a way that seperated body parts coming from different heritages. Sena fumed, and rushed to then next door, yelling, and opened the doro to Nuklieth' room

Nuklieth is a half nabasu humanoid, with some inquisitor levels, and he leads and care for the ghouls- "his children". two were here, blocking the door, intending to buy him some spell casting time.

Sena cast spear of purity, and managed to damage Nuklieth nicely, and blind him. "Die vile beast!" he said with fury and anger! Nuklieth uses hsi turn to heal somewhat. Andera vanished and snuck past the ghouls into the room, kills one ghoul, and gives room to Mad dog.

Julian here starts her routine of casting spell after spell and not passing the DR (which is quite harder than in D&D, which has two spells that make it a mockery) or saving throws. She ended up casting spell after spell and failing, but then succeed on a battle ending spell. Sorcerer!

But there is time till that... Sena and Andera move to flank, and hit him, but Nuklieth smites Sena, and with the variety of spells already prepared (The party made ample noise), he takes down more than half of Sena's hit points! it is worthy to note that Sena has a very high AC (1aroudn 25 without any spell, can reach near 30 with spells), but he has fairly low hit points comapred to the rest.

Sena retreats to heal, but Mad dog delivers a great blow. Nuklieth jumps and flies up (The ceiling is broken) up to about 30 feet, while Julian keep being ineffective with spells.

it is at this point we all come to an interesting realization- None in the party can fly, and they have very little abilities (Other than Julians' spells) to deal with flying creatures...

As the party tries to think of what to do, Nuklieth unleashes a holy blight, but the buggers all save except for Andera. He disappears, and climbs the wall (Got some sort of speedy climber trick on the 6th level.) intending to maybe jump on him for sneak attacks or something...

teh rest have no idea... mad dog has some cross bow he thinks?

Julian's second trip to demonic telepathy

Julian's headache appears again. She suddenly seem to... "See"? Sena as a flaming sword, Mad dog as simple, but with soemthign hard deep inside, not himself, Andera as a shadow, but with trailing starts around and... she can hear Nuklieth's mind, but another mind as well! Nuklieth seems angry at the loss of his childern, and is surprised at the ferocity ofthis attackers. he asks help from the other mind, but it seems to wathc wantign to "See what they can do".

Julian shotus to the rest. "It got his boss nearby, prepare!" Sena's player grasp at this "How do you know this? You know what they think?!" But no time for that, perhaps the new headache focuses Julian, as she lets out an ear piercing scream spell, which dazes and harms Nuklieth.

Mad dog, without anything to do, just kill the last ghoul (Really, they are there just for the players to feel great, and block stuff. Didn't score a single hit! Sena just walks by them ignoring them.)

Andera throws shurikens, and uses mythic power for more attacks and to bypass it's DR, damages him nicely. .Julian magic missiles him, dropping it to 1hp. Nuklieth becomes desperate, calling for help! Julian, sensing this warns the others "Incoming!" Sena again seems surprised at her.

Remember me?
Excorius appears behind Julian. "What sort of an anathema are you? You can hear our minds? What sort of thing did you become?" Sena seems furious about this, but again- this is not the time.

Mad dog and Julian both attack Excorius, and mange to have him teleport. (Julian hears "They are stronger than we've thought! Vhane must hear of this! If the dwarf will listen! What is he up to now?") And so Julian got a confirmation that Staunton Vhane is indeed head of Drezen.

Sena decides to end this, and uses mythic power to cast spear of purity again, killing Nuklieth in a shining blast through the chest. it falls and crumples on the floor. Julian comments "The sword of vengeance is burning strong". To which Sena turns, obviously not pleased...

A matter of trust...

Feeling that the threat is over, Sena stops to talk. Or accuse more like it- "You hear their thoughts? Demonic thoughts? How can it be?" Julian tries to deflect him with humor "You just need to learn how to listen!" But Sean is not laughing. "you are full of Sh*t! This is what happened at Keeper's canyon? And you kept it hidden from us?"

Julian started to get defensive. "Why does it matter if I can hear them?". Sena responded "It may mean they have some link to you, some power over you. This Excorius was there at both time, maybe he got an influence on you!" (Ooooh! Interesting idea! )

Julian lost some of her cool "Look fellow, I've been through a lot from these demons, and lost more than you can know. There is no way I'll be working for them! Don't fear, I won't join them." But Sena would not relent. "So you are like Mad dog- you passed the same ritual?" Julian's lips tightened. "No. Mad dog passed some ritual maybe, but he has proven himself. I passed no ritual, I just witnessed too many people die and suffer by these... creatures!"

Again, Sena would not relent. "Who? When?" But Julian pushed him off. "This is my private business, if I get to know you, maybe I'll tell you."

"We must know, we march towards..."

"Oh! I know full well what we march against! If you wish to know so much, you share! Why such a burning hatred!"

Sena was surprised, a bit taken aback. He gave it a moment's thought. "I saw that halfling, what that... butcher did... that ripper... I had to do SOMETHING!"

"He was my responsibility!"

"I too wished to help him, make him suffer less, and to avenge him! i have no patience for..." He kicked Nuklieth dead charred body "These creatures!" Sena was huffing and puffing, at some emotional turmoil. He turned to Julian "Now tell me!"

Julian began telling parts of her story- growing in an orphanage in Kenabres, and when one day she and some friends decided to sneak into the Kite and see the Wardstone on a dare. They got attacked by a demon who broke in. It killed the rest, but sent Julian into a months long coma. She didn't say it directly, but hinted that the Wardstone might have saved her. This was enough for Sena it seemed, though Julian did omit a few important details...

But something still didn't sit right. "I am a citizen of Kenabres, I would have heard of it if the wardstone was attacked!" Julian rolled her eyes. "Would you? This is exactly the kind of thing Hurlun would hush up."

Sena thought for a moment. "yeah, that makes sense. Look Julian, you came with the recommendation of the Queen, and I trust all who come from her. (Really? GO Nurah! ) I am... just afraid that what happened to Mad dog will happen to you, a different stage."

Julain seemed to wave it off. "i just feel some sort of a screaming and rush of voices in my mind. I can handle it." (Just normal then?)

It was at this point the other two probably got edgy "Don't we have two more prisoners to rescue?". "We do? oh, then lets get going!"

Julian put her hand. "Truce?" Sena shook it. "Truce!"

Desna's observatory, and Andera's vision

Mad dog checks for traps and pick the lock- or just kicks the door to the next room. They immediately encounter utter silence (under a permanency spell), coming fro ma room that looks like a private prayer room, open to the sky, with tarnished remains of silver lettering on the walls- prayers to Desna. Most of the silver has been taken out, but some was still there.

And on the floor was a shackled tifleing, bloody and bruised- a sorcerer who was put here so she couldn't cast spells. Sean and Mad dog set on setting her (hey, adamantine sword), and Andera was ready to join, where he saw something.

A whispy, hazy figure was just where the tiefling was, incorporeal, kneeling inf front of Desna's symbol. Then it seemed to split, into two figures who felt to be... the same, yet different... They then joined back to the figure, who seemed to be praying. "Where is it? Show me, please! Where is the bell of stars?" Suddenly the figure, (Still with unclear features), turned around as incorporeal gargoyles (Part of the vision) came in. "I have been found out! No turning back!" The figure rose and pulled out a magnificent great bow, and shot the gargoyles with cristal arrows, and rushed out...

The vision ended quickly. Andera's player asked "Was the bow the one who belonged to the archer Andera saw years ago?" (Chance encounter trait). I confirmed it. They got out of the room into the second large courtyard, to talk away from the silence. Andera quickly recounted this, and the party get interested in the bell of stars. Sena manages to barely remember that it was some sort of a holy item of Desna, that got lost in the war, but little else. They decide to investigate this later.

Muagla the Nabasu
Which is when Muagla appeared (Nuklieht was helping it turn into a greater Nabasu. No upgrades so far). The party however didn't understand that, but just saw a big violent demon. Battle on!

Muagla opened with Mass hold person, and only Sena saved. The party was all "Oh ****!" but Sena used mythic power to cast remove paralysis, and got all except for the tielfing and Andera free.

Mad dog did what he knows, and charged. Julain also did what she knows, and tried to cast a spell, and failed. Here we go again...

Muagla then flew up (The party was "we really need to find a decent solution for this!") and started summoning. Julian tried to stop him ,but failed, and a round later a Babau (only one) was summoned. Andera still couldn't make the save.

The party started fightign the Babau with Julian casting ineffectively, And Muagla using his enervation to bring some fear to the party. Sena started channeling alignment (CE... got a feat), which damaged a bit, but not much. They started using more and more mythic power for defenses and such.

This seemed like a really bad ending, but as the saying goes- try, try, trrrryy, TRY again! Finally Julian was able to affect Muagla with oppressive boredom. It flew with a bored look on his face. Sean suddenly had an idea, and puleld out a scroll of command, and manged to make Muagla "Fall"!

Before he owuld og down though, they positioned themselves around, and with a barage of readied actions, AoO and extra attacks from Mythic they slaughtered him as he came down. A sneak attack by Andera was enough to finish the job.

The demons of the lost chapel were dead now.

Finishing up

They found the last prisoner, a halfling that was but a bit bruied so far in the last room, a sort of storage. As they came back to the courtyard, I remembered that I didn't give any clue as to the cash oof potions. So a short sign of Desna's start leading t the chapel later, and the party were looking for secret stuff. They found the hidden compartment, but I made it openable only by a prayer to Desna. After a short trial and error, they figured it out, and found the stacks of potions. (Under my rules these were 5 sets of CLW potions for a medium army, single use) The party shortly debated whether to keep some for themselves, but decided the armies will need them much more.

In the course of searching for a way to open the cache, Sena did the best he could to restore the small prayer chapel and Desna's shrine. As he finished the party felt some sort of warmth, openness and thankfulness (They have just reclaimed the chapel by the rules, and gained extra XP). The tainted presence of Kabriri was gone, and after the thanks, so was Desna's. It was but a ruin now...

Spoiler: reclaiming the temple
I didn't give any signs for it. ANd the players acted as part of their character, not because there was XP involved. They didn't know of it, and were quite surprised. Their actions:
- Cast a consecrate and broke the desecrate.
- Killed all of the defilers.
- Restored Desna's alter
- Gave all of the potions to their armies.

3 suffice.

They buried the bodies of the halfling and the two dead mongrelfolk in the church, and gave them a short prayer. They have descended the road of stars down the pillar, and buried what remained of Harry. They were quite tired by this point. Julian concluded "We began as 5, and now we are 4". Though the party was victorious here, they played it solemnly, with the dead kidnapees and Harry's death weighing on them. With that im ind, they headed back to the camp.

But they won't sleep just yet, as trouble was brewing back there...

Spoiler: Summary: The lost chapel and first uses of mythic power
I was quite pleasently surprised at how fun this little adventure was! I think it comes from 3 main factors:
- It's a short dungeon, with very clear concept battles. (Cliff gargoyles, Ghouls, Nuklieth, The Nabasu)
- Adding some touches to make it feel less of a dungeon, and indeed a place with history helped.
- Most of all, how the players added their own content and connection to the issues involved.

It taxed quite a bit of the party "per day" resources, though they didn't face a great deal of danger (Other than the point where Muagla caught them all in his Mass hold person spell... If Sena hadn't succeeded on a save...) But this was also to them using quite a bit of their Mythic power.

Most uses were either to cast more spells through the path abilities, or add extra attacks that disregarded DR (So main uses of casters and mundanes). Sena used a surge once, for a saving throw. Sena used the most (6 points, he has the extra mythic power feat), and Mad dog the least (about 2-3 times at most).

All in all, quite an interesting promo to these abilities.

This took about 2/3rds of the session, but was great fun. Spirits were high, and we were ready to move on to the next part. I aimed to have a few more diplomacy/ conversation/ army leadership issues, and we were just coming to that...

I believe I will be able to update in the next few days. As always, feel free to comment.